Mike and I flew into Santa Barbara late Tuesday night (after multiple SNAFUs going and coming on a trip to Dallas to visit with the grandangels). We’re here this week, because it’s concert week for me; the Santa Barbara Choral Society, with which I proudly sing, will be performing Brahms’ German Requiem this weekend with the Santa Barbara Symphony at the Arlington Theater.

As luck would have it, either the copious spring pollen (our black car was positively yellow from it) or some vile bug in the (check all that apply) a) airport b)airplane c)7-year old birthday bash lunch we attended at Chuck E. Cheese left me exiting the plane minus my normal voice and plus a leaking faucet where my nose should be.

I hied myself immediately upon landing to a cup of hot tea with lemon, the Singer’s Saving Grace spray bottle, and the Cold Packs I neglected to stuff in my bag before we left home, just in case it wasn’t the pollen.

I’m praying for a full recovery, having spent the last four months working on Brahms’ demanding choral masterpiece in planes, buses, cars, hotel rooms, and at home, both in SB and Lake Tahoe. I refuse to be done out of performing it by an attack by pollen or microbe, so I’ve put myself on total voice rest until Saturday night’s performance!

Voice rest, of course, doesn’t mean body rest and we had a bunch of catching up to do from being gone, so we were out and about pretty much all day. We had to run some errands in the morning and when lunchtime rolled around we found ourselves down on Milpas Street and hungry, so Mike suggested that we head over to The Habit, a Santa Barbara hamburger institution. I agreed, with hand signals and head bobs, since not talking also doesn’t mean not eating and The Habit’s burgers are to die for.

The Hamburger Habit began as just a single little burger shack out in neighboring Goleta, not too far from UCSB in 1969, but now has grown to a pretty good-sized chain throughout California. If you’re ever in Santa Barbara, trust me, it’s worth a stop into The Habit. There’s one on State Street (where all visitors to the city ultimately wind up) that makes for a convenient place to stop in for lunch.

The one on Milpas has a nice outdoor patio and since (pollen notwithstanding) the day was simply gorgeous, with crystalline blue Mediterranean skies, palm trees swaying, bright flowers everywhere, the scent of citrus blooms and eucalyptus in the breeze, we decided to place our order and take up a table outside.

I love the taste of their Char Burger (with the works, including cheese, bacon, and onions) and Mike nearly always opts for their BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwich, both served ‘protein style’ wrapped in several crunchy leaves of fresh iceberg lettuce. Today was no different, except that instead of our usual bantering conversation over lunch, I was as silent as a mime as I wolfed down my yummy burger. Smiling and nodding at appropriate moments.

For his part, Mike probably enjoyed having the last word for a change. He better enjoy it while he can, because my silence will be short lived.


  1. Have a great concert! I know some of the players who drive up from L.A. to play in the S.B. Symphony. (I’m a violinist.) And the Brahms Requiem is gorgeous!

    COMMENT from MD EADES: Thanks for the good words. I just hope and pray that by tonight I will be able to sing–I’m living in a silent world right now and it’s tough not to talk. Tell your buddies that the Symphony sounded just great last night at dress rehearsal. The new maestro is a real joy to work with, although we in the choir all loved Gisele, too. And yes, the Brahms is an incredible piece of choral mastery–incredibly demanding and deeply rewarding. We assembled a choir of 150 voices (our own Choral Society, which is more than 100 voices plus the Westmont College Choir making up the rest). That ,with the very large orchestra needed, puts about 240 of us on the Arlington Stage at one time. It should be wonderful.

  2. I read the information about alternative sweeteners. I was curious to know what your opinion about agave nectar is.

    COMMENT from MD EADES: My understanding is that agave nectar is composed mainly of fructose, which, in the first place is a fully-absorbed, fully-counted carbohydrate and in the second, if eaten in large amounts will do as fructose does, elevate triglycerides and promote insulin resistance. In teensy amounts, used occasionally, as with anything, it’s probably ok.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *